Carlos Rodon vs. Clayton Kershaw (Who’s Better?)

Carlos Rodon vs.  Clayton Kershaw (Who’s Better?)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images)

Lots of MLB teams still have a need for pitching when the lockout ends.

Carlos Rodon and Clayton Kershaw are the best pitchers available at this time.

Which of them would give a better signing for the 2022 season?

Let us analyze each situation.

The case of Rodon

Between the two pitchers, one had a clearly better season than the other.

Rodon, had he thrown enough innings, would have been a bonafi Cy Young candidate in the American league.

He averaged a career-high of 95.4 mph on his four-stitch fastball, and that unlocked a whole new level of performance for him.

At 132.2 innings in 2021, southpaw had a record of 13-5 and a career-best 2.37 ERA.

He also posted career-best in K / 9 (strikes per nine innings) with 12.55.

His breakout was also amplified by an improvement in control by 2.44 times per. nine innings.

He achieved a higher WAR (Wins Above Replacement) than Kershaw, with 4.9 to Kershaw’s 3.4 marks.

Basically, Rodon would be a better bidder than Kershaw for the next five years because he is four years younger.

Rodon, however, must prove that his performance in 2021 was not a stroke of luck, as his 3.79 career ERA is significantly higher than last year’s 2.37.

In addition, the former Chicago White Sox pitcher must prove that his arm is in good shape after spring training.

He missed important laps down the stretch with soreness in his left arm that resulted in him pitching in the playoffs by less than 100 percent.

The case of Kershaw

If we include experience and track record, then Kershaw should be the better option of the two with some difference.

Additionally, while his 2021 was not as good as Rodon’s, he had a great season when he was healthy.

The former MVP winner hit 121.2 innings with a solid 3.55 ERA and a strikeout rate of 29.5 percent.

He accumulated 3.4 WAR.

Kershaw has been around so long that one would think he is at least 37 years old.

However, he is not even 34 yet and should have a few good years in him.

When he’s fast, Kershaw’s track record and experience is a bonus for any team on the planet.

However, there are two things to consider.

First, he had problems with his arm, like Rodon.

In fact, he missed more than two months of the 2021 campaign with a problem with bending tendons.

He has many kilometers in his left arm, so any contract he signs represents a risk of injury.

The other thing to consider is that he will likely sign a contract with the only team he has played for in his entire career: the Los Angeles Dodgers.

If Rodon is a better bid for the next five years, Kershaw, if fully recovered, should be a superior choice for the next one or two seasons.

The verdict

It’s closer than people think, because both Rodon and Kershaw are excellent pitchers.

Rodon represents the present and the future, while Kershaw has the track record edge, but still expects to pitch at a high level for a few more seasons.

If they are both 100 percent and really available to sign for any team, MLB clubs should prioritize Kershaw because he has been excellent for a long time and still has his stuff, even though he is not in another galaxy like he used to to be in the mid-2010s.

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